Sean Payton Still in Play for Arizona Cardinals

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton's options appear to be dwindling, but there's at least one team that's still interested in his services. According to Ian Rapoport on the Pat McAfee Show, the Arizona Cardinals remain a possible fit.

Payton retired following the 2021 season after 15 seasons with the Saints. Payton led the team to easily its most fruitful and glorious era, bringing them 10 winning seasons, nine top-five scoring offenses, and a Super Bowl victory following the 2009 season.

The Cardinals should be desperate to provide a productive system around injured franchise passer Kyler Murray. The team signed the former first-overall pick to a massive extension ahead of the 2022 season, which ended in disaster: Murray tore his ACL, and the team finished 4-13. The fate of the franchise will depend on getting the most out of the mobile, undersized quarterback next season and beyond. Payton maximized similarly diminutive quarterback Drew Brees in New Orleans.

Payton technically remains under contract with the Saints, so acquiring him will likely require the Cardinals to give up meaningful assets, not to mention a sizeable contract. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers procured Jon Gruden from the Oakland Raiders in 2002, they gave up two first-round and two second-round picks. Payton is significantly more accomplished. That significant price tag, along with some fairly hefty contract demands, is likely what's keeping Payton on the market.

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